SUPPLY, N.C. (Sept.14, 2018, 8:00am) – As Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) began to see its outage numbers climb to approximately 33,822, leaving 35% of its member-consumers without power. With wind gusts up to 105 mph and warnings of extreme flooding, extended power outages will likely occur so those affected should be prepared to be without power for days.
“BEMC crews and additional support crews have been staged overnight in local communities,” said Heather Holbrook, BEMC spokesperson. “We are now waiting for the green light to begin restoration efforts. Safety is our priority, so we must hold in place until winds have slowed to 30mph.”
Saturated ground and strong winds have damaged poles and brought down power lines located throughout the electric cooperative’s service area. There are approximately 97,000 meter locations system-wide, serving Brunswick, Columbus and parts of Robeson and Bladen counties. Much of the co-op’s 1,500 square mile territory is rural where roads may already be washed out, flooded, or blocked by fallen trees adding difficulty in the restoration process.
The National Weather Service calls for a possible 10 foot storm surge in addition to 25 or more inches of rain that could also impact several of BEMC’s 46 substations and delivery points.
“We continue to closely monitor our systems, and we are ready to get to work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” said Don Hughes, the cooperative’s General Manager/CEO. “Crews are rested and ready to work 24 hours a day until power is restored to every member.”
Go to www.bemc.org to follow Brunswick Electric’s outage map and call (800) 682-5309 to report a BEMC outage. Follow Brunswick Electric on Facebook and Twitter for real time updates throughout the storm.
BEMC is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit corporation. It is the second largest electric cooperative in North Carolina and serves nearly 97,000 member locations in Brunswick, Columbus, and parts of Bladen and Robeson counties. Founded in 1939, BEMC has a longstanding commitment to the communities it serves, providing support for a wide variety of activities that contribute to the quality of life for all citizens.